Therapy by Kathryn Perez

Therapy - Kathryn Perez

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Items ticked off: 17

In theory, I should like this book. And I did, to a very short extent. Up until around the 40% mark, I thought I'd give it at least three stars. Not above that, not with all the minor things that irked me. I digressed. The book moved along in an even pace, nothing really changed. And it did throughout the entire story. But as said, the 40% mark. That's when I first began to look at the overall picture. And... it wasn't pretty. All those minor things that irked me. When I added them up, they weren't minor things anymore, not when looking at the big picture.

But let's take a moment to see what Therapy is all about. It's the story of Jessica, a young woman who's been bullied all through her high school years. Then senior year comes, her last year of walking through the corridors and being terrorized by her bullies. Almost like a movie, the über-popular Jace – who happens to date Jessica's biggest bully – steps in and saves the day, making Jessica's bully at least tone it down. Jessica and Jace form an unlikely friendship that soon turns out to be more, but they are both hesitant to start anything so serious when they're young. In the end, right before Jace leaves for college, they follow through on their feelings for each other. However, one lie breaks them up. Then we fast forward six years later and Jessica is now doing court mandated therapy where she is diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. A coincidence lands Jace back in Jessica's life and they must both face their past and present, as well as current demons.

So. Those things that irked me. Let's just get them out of the way.

1. The dialogue
I'm not shy about saying the dialogue is terrible. Stilted, unnatural, and lacks flow. The character's constant monologues and overdramatic outbursts just didn't do it for me.

2. The characters.
I give all props to the author for writing a heroine struggling with BPD, one who's not the typical virgin(al) shy insecure girl. Jessica i rude, impulsive and self-destructive. That I give all props for. Even if I disliked Jessica more often than not, she brought out an emotion from me. Sadly, none of the other characters did. Jace was stereotypical and way too one-dimensional, especially for a main character. There's no character development to him, or any of the other secondary characters. Speaking of Jace...

3. Jace
Here's the thing. Jace had a younger autistic sister who died. She was bullied and died one day partly because of that in a car accident. He goes for years watching his girlfriend being the biggest bully of the school, not telling anyone about the bullying of Jessica. Yet, he tries to appear all apologetic and shit to her. I do not buy it. Not with all the guilt he claims to carry around. Not with how much he claims his sister meant to him. My dislike for Jace is partly because of this and partly due to the lack of character development. Then there's this habit he has of saying things that upset me on several levels.
I knew you had been with plenty of guys, but that night...that night you looked more innocent and untouched than any girl I’d ever known.

4. The belittlement
As seen above, Jace is very fixated on how Jessica is innocent and all that when she's with him. Now, there's two love interests in this book, Jace and Kingsley. I disliked both (still partly due to lack of character development). But also because they continue to belittle Jessica pretty much all the time. They don't say it out loud, but in their minds... Yeah, not pretty. They think it's "cute" when Jessica gets mad, it's adorable and all that when she's independent. I just... it bothered me too much.

5. Quoting yourself
So each chapter began with a quote from a famous person, or just a generally famous quote... or the author quoting herself. I'm not going to say the quotes aren't relevant, or that they are bad... it's just... well, I find it tacky. It's kind of like rating your own book five stars. Seriously, I don't care if it's Stephen King, a completely new author, or another big shot name in the literary world, quoting yourself in your book, I still find it weird.

6. Last but not least, the portrayal of women
I have probably said this before, but the portrayal of women irked me endlessly. Every woman who isn't a friend of the heroine is presented as an evil witch. I'm not opposed to writing mean women. Hell, give me a psychotic one and I'm still on board with that. It's when practically every single character that isn't a friend of the heroine is described a bitch that I get irritated. It's so often used to simply make the heroine look better, and I find it a cheap way to do so. Let the heroine stand on her own despite her flaws, just because another character is worse, it won't make me like the heroine more.

I will end saying that the heroine isn't your typical heroine, and I loved that. Jessica is difficult to like, and most of her troubles are caused by herself, but she tried to get better. I really need to stress this point: Jessica is a strong character. If that's what your looking for, look no further.